Projects selected for funding: Food, health and adaptation to climate change in East and Southern Africa
Environmental change, and its major driver climate change, poses new health risks and new challenges to ecosystem sustainability and productivity. The most vulnerable are the poor and marginalized people from developing countries who depend directly on their ecosystems for survival. Poverty also makes adaptation to climate change difficult.
Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest disease burden and related deaths from climate change in the world. The National Adaptation Programs of Action (NAPA) of many SSA countries identified food security, nutrition and health, as well as improved ecosystem quality, as key needs to deal with the impacts of climate change. However, health researchers and professionals are rarely involved in the NAPA response. Capacity is often missing at individual, community and institutional levels to generate and apply the necessary knowledge that links climate change, environment and health.
Climate change vulnerability analysis brings knowledge that can improve the lives and health of the poor and vulnerable in the short term, while improving resilience to environmental change in the future. Ecohealth provides a framework for research across sectors, for linking researchers to decision makers and civil society, as well as for bringing health into the national adaptation discourse while improving adaptive capacities at the community level.
In 2007, the Ecohealth Program of IDRC collaborated with the Climate Change Adaptation in Africa (CCAA), a joint program of IDRC and the Department for International Development (DfID), UK, to fund six projects on Water, Health and Climate Change Adaptation in North and West Africa. The Ecohealth team funded an additional project in Algeria at a later stage.
Building on these efforts, the Ecohealth Program launched an open call for African-led concept notes in May 2009 on food, health and adaptation to climate in Eastern and Southern Africa. A total of 72 concept notes were received. After a structured external and internal review, the teams behind eight high quality concept notes attended a proposal development and training workshop in Nairobi (September 6-11, 2009). In addition, small grants assisted these teams to further engage stakeholders in project development.
Eight full proposals were received by October 17. Rigorous external and internal review selected three projects for full funding:
1) Building Food Security and Social Resilience to Climate Change and HIV/AIDS in Malawi
Research team: The Ekwendeni Hospital, Malawi; Bunda College of Agriculture; University of Malawi; Malawi Enterprise Zone Association; University of Western Ontario, Canada; Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Government of Malawi; Michigan State University, USA.
2) An Ecohealth Approach to Flood-recession (Molapo) Farming to Reduce Climate Change Vulnerability in the Okavango Delta, Botswana
Research team: the University of Botswana/Harry Oppenheimer Okavango Research Centre (HOORC); Department of Agriculture Research, Ministry of Agriculture, and the Department of Environmental Affairs, Botswana.
3) Food Security, Adequate Care and Environment: Eco-Nutrition Guidelines for Community Action on Climate Change (Tanzania & Malawi)
Research team: University of Agriculture, Malawi; University of Malawi; University of Leeds, Great Britain.
All winning teams will participate in future training opportunities offered by CCAA.
Congratulations to the successful teams, we look forward to a fruitful collaboration.
We would also like to thank all teams who participated in the different stages of the Call process.